Guest Blog: Rupert Pontin on Volkswagen scandal – ‘the consumer will decide’

Guest Blog: Rupert Pontin on Volkswagen scandal – ‘the consumer will decide’

AS THE scandal broke many would have been forgiven for enthusiastically predicting a collapse of VW Group values across the trade and retail market.

Equally, there was suspicion that other manufacturers were also involved, a point that is still unclear at the time of writing. The silence from some other manufacturers is deafening and that is not helping consumer confidence dented by the actions of key people within the Volkswagen group.

This comes at a time that there has been specific concern over the credibility of diesel product as a whole following the discovery that early diesel engines actually emitted far greater levels of pollution that was understood at the time.

But to be clear the new Euro 6 engines fitted to cars registered after September 2014 ensure near parity between diesel and petrol engine emissions and despite widespread attempts at demonising diesel, it must be understood that this is unjustified. Forcing a move away from diesel would provide un-necessary cost and hardship to many people worldwide.

There is no doubt that the Volkswagen Group have abused the trust that their position as the Worlds Number 1 Car Manufacturer has earned over many years and it is this error of judgement that will define the future of the brand worldwide and more specifically in the UK.

The consumer will judge the group on not only what they did to the engine management software in the first place to gain competitive advantage, but how they make reparation and explain what they will do to make up for the fact that the higher levels of Nox have potentially damaged the health of so many people around the globe.

It is worth remembering that Volkswagen produce well built, reliable and popular cars. In Europe and UK, despite the ever increasing volume, Volkswagen retains a semi premium position and Audi a premium brand accolade for the time being. In addition this debacle really should not cost the consumer any money as it is understood that Volkswagen will address all costs to return the vehicle to be what it was purported to be at the time of sale.

The only area that may be seen to cost the customer money is if residual values in the UK do not recover from the early marginal drop seen during September. Glass’s were careful not to comment on values until a clear picture of the position was apparent in order to avoid any form of influence on the market whether that would have been positive or negative.

However, data is fact and Volkswagen values dipped in comparison with the rest of the market even considering the time of year, but at this point it is unclear whether this will be a blip or continue to be reality.

It really is the consumer that will decide. If happy they will continue to buy Volkswagen group product and the trade will therefore return to paying strong money for the Volkswagen group cars in the wholesale market.

MORE ON VW SCANDAL:

Investigation widened to include other brands

Ford and BMW defend German car industry

UK owners won’t be hit with tax rise

Car supermarket slashes German vehicle prices

Thousands of vehicle sales are halted in UK

Almost 1.2 million vehicles affected in UK

Values ‘marginally affected’ by emissions

700,000 Seat cars fitted with emissions test ‘cheat’ software

Winterkorn facing probe by German prosecutors

Audi reveals more than 2m of its cars worldwide have ‘cheat’ software

Switzerland bans sale of diesel Volkswagens

Carmaker admits diesel scandal affects VW Group vehicles

Confusion among VW dealers

Government was warned about emissions testing

Department for Transport launches emissions investigation

CAP predicts no impact on Volkswagen residual values

Skoda, Seat and Audi dealers braced for bad news

UK businesses hit by ripple effect

Biggest UK lawsuit could be on the cards

VW just tip of the iceberg amid claims tests are open to abuse

Winterkorn resigns

SMMT calls for calm

Audi and VW brand ‘damaged’

Chief executive ‘could lose his job’

VW faces billions in fines

 

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